After two movies and some time in the Avengers franchise, it would be hard to imagine any of the Guardians of the Galaxy characters played by anyone else. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel bring the lovable family of space misfits together in a way that no one else could, but the casting process behind the popular crew wasn't as easy-going as their on-screen personas. It seems as though there was a chance that Bautista, who has spent most of his entertainment career in the WWE, wasn't going to get the job as the MCU's Drax. Fortunately, writer and director James Gunn went to bat for him.
During a Twitter Q&A over the weekend, Gunn was asked about the initial reception to casting Bautista in the role of Drax, and whether or not he had to fight for the WWE superstar-turned-actor. Gunn made it clear that he had to fight for Bautista to land the role.
"I had to fight for him," Gunn wrote in response to the fan question," and it was the most worthy fight I've ever fought. Love and miss you [Dave Bautista]."
The love between Gunn and Bautista clearly runs deep. If you recall, back in the summer of 2018, Gunn was fired from his position as the helmer of the Guardians franchise after several insensitive tweets from his past were dug up by online trolls. Gunn was eventually rehired by Disney and Marvel about a year later, but his cast never abandoned him. The entire Guardians cast stood in solidarity with Gunn, but none were more vocal in their support of the filmmaker than Bautista. It was Bautista who stood toe-to-toe with the Mouse and called for Gunn to be rehired.
It's this kind of friendship that make the Guardians of the Galaxy cast so authentic. The relationship they portray on the screen directly mirrors what they have in real life.